Piece of My Mind: Separating the director from the film, is it possible?
I use to belong to a Horror film forum on Facebook and a certain post got rather heated. The debate was sparked over "Clownhouse" and its status of OOP (out of print)
I`m sure a lot of you are aware but for those of you who are not here is the story behind Clownhouse and why it most likely will never be re-released -EVER.
The "Clownhouse" controversy: In 1988 during production Salvia the director was charged with sexually molesting the lead actor Nathan Forrest Winters. He was found guilty and served only 15 months of a three year sentence. It had a limited release from MGM in 2004 but quickly was pulled due to the scandal.
What Victor Salvia did was pure evil and anyone who says different has some serious issues that goes far beyond liking a film or not. The argument on the blog was some said it should be put out for people to see and others said its horrible what happened to the boy during the filming and based on that it should not be widely released. I watched it on Youtube and honestly its a terrible film, its slow paced and worst yet the film has ALOT of sexual over tones with the young boy and his brother (Sam Rockwell in his first film) In fact the first time we see Nathans character he is in his underwear and his brother makes a masturbation reference. Its skin crawling for all the wrong reasons. Fans were fiercely divided and if you look on Ebay people are paying up to 100.00 bucks for the OOP dvd.(Some of which are rip offs, and very good ones at that)
I honestly believe fans are wanting this movie so badly because its "rare" and as I stated above I highly doubt ANY company would dare release it and even if they did who would want to talk about it in interviews or commentaries. I think the bigger picture is this: A young boy was raped and had his childhood taken away during the filming of this Z-grade crap fest. It puzzles and bothers me that people who know this still are fans of the film.
Which leaves me to the question at hand. Can you separate the film maker from his work. In the case of Clownhouse I would say No way. Its horrible deeds are imprinted in every fiber of the film and it disturbs me to think that after they yelled cut this real life monster ripped this boys innocence away from him. Obviously fans have "forgiven" him or out right ignored or were unaware because Jeepers Creepers (aptly titled as he is a creeper) and the sequel (which fixates on you guessed it young guys) were big hits.
Another case is Roman Polanski who as film buffs know got caught with an under age young woman. He still makes films and won an Oscar for The Pianist (2002)
The question is can a film fan separate the actions of the directors and just enjoy the art they've created?